United Airlines appears to be ready to move on without
Expedia Group as a distribution partner. Their deal expires on Oct. 1, and the
airline doesn't seem to be inclined to sign a new contract.
"Times have changed. Companies need to evolve and
innovate," United chief commercial officer Andrew Nocella said during the
airline's first-quarter earnings call Wednesday.
went on to say that United will instead focus on working with distribution
partners better suited to selling its product. Hesaid Expedia "has been
historically very good at selling our lowest fares, but quite honestly, we
think we can sell our lowest fares just as well."
Among the Expedia Group websites that would stop selling United
are Expedia.com, Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire and CheapTickets. The travel
management company Egencia would not be impacted.
On Wednesday's earnings call, United president Scott Kirby
said that in preparing financial guidance for the remainder of this year,
United has worked on the assumption that United won't be on Expedia Group
websites after October.
A judge has already ruled that under their current deal,
United can withhold inventory from Expedia Group for flights departing after
Expedia Group didn't immediately respond to an emailed
request for comment Wednesday.
Though it appears United and Expedia are headed for divorce,
this isn't the first time United and Expedia have appeared on the verge of
ending their U.S. distribution relationship. In 2016, the companies extended
their contract just two days before it was set to expire.